Tesla Will Reportedly Add More Sensors To Autopilot For 2.0 Version

Tesla Model S driving on Autopilot in Europe 5 photos
Photo: Screenshot from YouTube
Tesla Model S drives itself out of garageTesla Model S instrument cluster with Autopilot displayTesla Model S on roadTesla Model S driving with Autopilot
Tesla is reportedly working on the second-generation Autopilot system, which will be called Autopilot 2.0.
The system will bring both software and hardware updates, as expected of a second-generation of any electronic product. Thanks to the new elements, Tesla will be able to introduce more autonomous driving features, as well as enhancing the current capabilities of the system.

Quoting sources close to the matter, the people at Electrek have reported that the next-generation Autopilot system from Tesla will get a new camera system, as well as more radar sensors.

This time, the forward-facing cameras will be three, but one of them will operate a kind of back-up for one of the two, so that it could provide a double-check when something is observed ahead.

Out of the two remaining cameras of the trio mentioned above, one will be a wide-angle lens, which will be capable of surveying multiple lanes (more than today’s unit), while the other will scan ahead of the vehicle.

The latter has a back-up, which will have a narrower focus point, and will probably be able to “see” further, or at least provide redundancy for its “viewing partner.”

According to the same unnamed insider, Tesla will also supplement the radar sensors fitted to its cars. The extra units will do specifically what the cameras will, but using radar instead of visual markers.

There is no word on introducing LIDAR technology in the next generation of Autopilot system, an element that some think would bring a significant improvement to the arrangement.

Elon Musk disagrees with LIDAR’s capability over the radar technology, so the claimed addition of more radar sensors would further the Tesla CEO’s backing of this technology. After all, radar technology can see through inclement weather, and this is an advantage over laser tech.

All of the sensors described above will be handled by additional hardware installed in the Tesla cars, possibly in the form of extra computers to analyze the data gathered by them.

Evidently, Tesla will also bring along a new version of the operating system used by its cars. The version is claimed to be numbered 8.0, and it will be “pushed” over-the-air to cars with Autopilot 1.0.

The models with Autopilot 2.0 will theoretically be able to reach stage four of automated driving, which means that a self-driving system can cope with all situations on the road automatically, and the driver is not required to keep hands on the wheel or eyes on the road.

There is another stage of automation classified by SAE specialists, stage five, which effectively means that a driver is no longer required for a journey.

Currently, Tesla’s systems are at stage three of automation, which is described as “conditional automation.” The term refers to cars that can drive themselves in certain situations, but know their limits and call upon the human driver to intervene withing a sufficient time margin to avoid a crash.

That is why Tesla requests its clients to keep at least one hand on the wheel and their eyes on the road. As we noted in previous articles, this is a safe thing to do, and it is still a good way to prevent an accident if the driver has a long trip ahead.

Electrek contacted a Tesla representative, and they replied that the company has nothing to comment on these rumors. It is only natural for Tesla not to comment on these potential changes to its Autopilot technology, but we expect to find out more about it as soon as it nears production.
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About the author: Sebastian Toma
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Sebastian's love for cars began at a young age. Little did he know that a career would emerge from this passion (and that it would not, sadly, involve being a professional racecar driver). In over fourteen years, he got behind the wheel of several hundred vehicles and in the offices of the most important car publications in his homeland.
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